It is unclear the tier of hate speech that the offending content on WAAPD’s page belonged to.
Still, it was apparently enough to warrant removal (albeit a brief one) of the entire group.
Mr Richard Allen, former British MP and current VP for Public Policy in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), penned an introspective blog post about the factors and extenuating circumstances Facebook takes into account when determining hate speech.
Tolerance for speech, he writes, differs from people to people. One man’s sharing of a laugh is another man’s blasphemy.
Some of the things the company takes into consideration are:
Context: Context can heavily differ between different countries. Case in point: the word fags. A slur for gay men in some parts but a term for cigarettes in Britain.
Intent: Determining intent can be the hardest of all. Case in point: using racial/homophobic slurs in attempts to reclaim the word and strip it of its negative power.
Mistakes Facebook has occasionally removed content deemed offensive that actually had the opposite intention. Case in point: Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter activist who got his account blocked in error.
We only hope that members of WAAPD approach the matter in a more nuanced way going forward, with less of this: